As a High-Quality Beef, the Wagyu Beef Market Maintains a Growth Rate of More Than 20%

According to the product type, Wagyu beef is mainly divided into Japanese breeds and Australian breeds. Raised and processed in Japan, Japanese Wagyu is pure blood, no crossbreeding, and is 100% pure Wagyu, which makes Japanese beef more expensive than Australian beef. Australian Wagyu origins from Japan, where they are raised and processed in Australia. Therefore, Australian Wagyu has both hybrid and purebred breeds. In 2020, Japanese Wagyu beef and Australian Wagyu beef accounted for 19.50% and 63.33% of the market, respectively.

Depending on the application, Wagyu beef can be used directly for human consumption or in areas such as the food processing industry. Direct-to-human consumption refers to the sale of raw Wagyu beef directly to individual or household consumers through retailers and other methods. The food processing industry refers to enterprises that sell slaughtered/partially processed Wagyu beef to food processing service providers such as western restaurants and hotels. In 2020, Wagyu beef for direct consumption and food processing accounted for 36.22% and 63.78% of the market share, respectively.

Wagyu beef is high in fatty acids like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which makes it more tender and flavorful than other types of beef. Second, Wagyu beef has better fat flavor and lower melting point than regular beef. Plus, it contains heart-healthy oleic acid. It has the lowest cholesterol content compared to fish and chicken. Therefore, Wagyu beef is a better choice for those who want to exercise and make lifestyle changes.

The Cooking Method of Beef is Simple and Widely Loved by Europeans and Americans

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In the European Wagyu beef market, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, and Russia accounted for 25.17%, 19.48%, 12.87%, 11.55%, 12.88%, and 7.12%, respectively. In the Middle East Wagyu beef markets, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kuwait, and Turkey accounted for 25.52%, 7.91%, 15.49%, 11.55%, 3.56%, and 16.08%, respectively.

On February 1, 2019, the EU removed tariffs on Japanese beef and sake, which led to an increase in Wagyu beef exports to the EU. The beef-based meat eating habits of Europeans and Americans are related to national characteristics, climate environment, and lifestyle. In terms of lifestyle, European and American cooking is not refined. As a single livestock, cattle and sheep are more in line with European and American food culture due to their simple and even rough cooking methods. Europeans and Americans from nomadic backgrounds prefer to drink goat milk and cow’s milk as well as higher-calorie dairy products. In Europe, it is well known that Wagyu beef is delicious beef. One of the main opportunities for Wagyu to grow in Europe is to promote good eating habits and products.

In the Middle East and Africa sales channels, pay more attention to the choice of partners. At present, the main target groups are high-end places such as hotels, restaurants, cafes, and clubs. To attract the average consumer, the minimum requirement is to be able to open its own store in a high-end mall, or a partner with that capability. On the other hand, special care needs to be taken when choosing a partner, and once a partnership is established, a great deal of effort is required to address the significant business risks associated with channel development. Third, the need to avoid unnecessary struggles with cheap goods while achieving sales.

Wagyu Beef is of High Quality, with Strong Market Growth in the Future

In 2020, the European Wagyu market size was valued at USD 68,289 million and the Middle East Wagyu market size was valued at USD 26,330 million. Overall, the European and Middle East Wagyu market size was valued at USD 94,619 million in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 306,627 million by 2026, with a CAGR of 21.82%.

Feeding and quality control of Wagyu cattle are very strict, and each Wagyu cow has a birth certificate to prove its lineage. From birth, Wagyu cattle are raised on milk, grass, and protein-containing feed. Some ranches also hire people to massage the cows and drink beer to make the meat more tender. Even on Australian farms, people are raised with high-quality red wine. Therefore, the consumption of breeding costs greatly increases the cost of a whole head of Wagyu cattle, which is not very friendly to consumers and is not conducive to the development of the vast consumer market. At the same time, high farming costs will put pressure on producers. Still, in recent years, Japanese Wagyu beef has become very popular overseas, and the Japanese government is working to expand exports of Wagyu beef as a priority category.

The spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in Europe and the Middle East has brought unprecedented severe tests to the economic development of Europe and the Middle East. Holidays in restaurants and hotels have seriously affected Wagyu consumption. A large number of checkpoints in various countries have created obstacles to the market circulation of Wagyu beef trade. In 2020, due to the severe impact of the epidemic, Wagyu cattle prices are at their lowest levels in more than seven years. In Japan, despite the successive lifting of state of emergency declarations across the country and significant progress in epidemic prevention, considering the control of imported food, it is unlikely that Wagyu prices will rebound in the short term.

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